ARARAT - Ararat SES controller Donna Dunmore has chalked up another honour, this time awarded the SES member of the year for the whole of Victoria.
The accolade comes fresh on the back of the National Emergency Medal she received in July for her work in the wake of the February 7 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires.
An unsuspecting Ms Dunmore was announced member of the year while attending a peer support training weekend in August.
"I just went along for training as usual and we had a big dinner on Saturday night with about 30 peers from across the state," she said.
Ms Dunmore said being named member of the year was awesome and that it filled her with a great feeling of achievement.
"It is something I never dreamed I would ever get," she said.
"It just makes it all worthwhile, you don't expect anything, but it is nice when you do get something.
"Knowing the quality of some of the people who have got the award in the past really brings it home."
Away from the awards ceremony Ms Dunmore said the peers spent the weekend discussing scenarios and setting up a peer support response in the wake of an earthquake.
She said they also discussed developing a unit training package that could be implemented state wide.
The shield Ms Dunmore will now have her name etched on as member of the year is dedicated to the memory of Peter Rabone who was a leader, peer, trainer, companion, friend and inspiration to many during his twenty-nine years in the Victoria State Emergency Service.
A member of the year is announced annually for members of Peer Support who have excelled in supporting members following a critical incident or have conducted a training session demonstrating good judgement, insight, enthusiasm, innovation and excellence.
The training session could be part of annual peer training or critical incident stress awareness training at unit level.
Ms Dunmore's name will be engraved on the shield, which will be housed at the Mid West Regional Headquarters while she received a small plaque to take home.